Xero: Tech skills necessary for accountants to succeed

Thursday 29 December 2016

In order for accountants to succeed in the current market, it is vital for them to harness the power of technology and understand new digital trends.

With many small businesses now needing to adapt to the ever-changing technology in the market, it is vital that professionals continue to upskill in order to make the most of their business. 

There have been several significant changes to the way that freelancers go about their business, including an increased reliance on the internet for all kinds of operations. 

What’s more, with greater resources now available for professionals to teach themselves, the lure of freelance work has never been more appealing. By finding your own customers and working only at times that suit your needs, it is easy to see why more people are turning down fixed hours for the freedom of their own business. 

Cloud business Xero has looked into changes in the industry, finding that, by 2026, tech skills will be vital for accountants to succeed. Some 71 per cent of respondents consider financial sector expertise to their success in the coming five years. 

What else did the study find?

Along with highlighting the importance of technology in accountancy, the Xero research provided some great insights into how professionals expect the industry to change. 

Some 31 per cent of small business owners refer to “technology competency” as the attribute they value as the most important in a business advisor. Some 43 per cent of those polled cited risk analysis skills, whereas 27 per cent explained that management consultancy is important for the industry to remain productive past 2025. 

Xero UK Managing Director Gary Turner said: “The survey also suggests that the profession needs to work harder on investing sufficient time in keeping abreast of emerging technologies, and in more effectively persuading SMEs that a close working relationship with a financial professional will be important in years to come.”

The report also found that 40 per cent of accountants believe cloud technology has enabled them to enjoy a more flexible work life, while 75 per cent think that the ability to select their own hours could help to make them more successful. 

With the UK’s economy set to be put at risk due to the incoming EU exit, the importance of small businesses cannot be overstated, and accountancy offers plenty of opportunities for professionals. 

Some 22 per cent of respondents believe that tech skills will become so important that they will need to vacate the sector if they do not understand them in the next ten years.

By Victoria McDonnell

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